-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- People with epileptic
seizures are much more likely than others to be diagnosed with a
brain tumor, a new study indicates.
The findings suggest that epileptic seizures may indicate the
presence of a very early-stage tumor or a tumor that hasn't been
detected on brain scans, the researchers noted.
They looked at data on hospital admissions between 1963 and 2005
and subsequent diagnoses of, or deaths from, brain tumors among
those patients. The analysis revealed that people who had a
first-ever hospital admission for epileptic seizure were nearly 20
times more likely to develop a brain tumor than people admitted to
the hospital for other reasons.
Even when the researchers factored in the possibility that brain
tumors might have been missed or not recorded in the first year
after admission for epilepsy, the risk was still 7.5 to nine times
higher for patients with epileptic seizures.
The study also found that people with epilepsy were more than 25
times as likely to develop a cancerous brain tumor and more than 10
times as likely to develop a benign tumor than other patients.
The greatest risk was in epilepsy patients aged 15-44, who were
24 to 38 times more likely to develop a brain tumor than people of
the same age without epilepsy.
The risk of brain tumor persisted for some years after an
initial epilepsy-related hospitalization -- up to a more than
sixfold greater risk for as long as 14 years.
Brain tumors are rare, even among those with epilepsy, the
researchers noted. The overall risk of a brain tumor in
15-to-44-year-olds, for example, was about 1 percent to 2
"Our study suggests that tumor as an underlying cause for epilepsy may not become apparent for several years after onset, and indicates a need for ongoing vigilance," the researchers wrote.
The study appears online in the
Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
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